Insurance company offers tips on how to avoid being a victim of a staged accident
Grand Rapids, MI (Vocus) February 15, 2010 -- Insurance fraud is not a "victimless" crime, according to Foremost Insurance Group. Fraud doesn’t just affect insurance companies, unfortunately all customers are impacted. Fraudulent claims increase the loss and investigation expenses for an insurer and impacts the rates customers pay for insurance.
Insurance fraud is on the rise. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, 14% more questionable claims were referred to them in 2009 than the year before. "Foremost has seen similar insurance fraud trends in recent months,” said Doug Ashbridge – Director of Special Investigations for Foremost®. "We have zero tolerance for fraud in all forms and have aggressive programs in place to detect, resist and prosecute those who take advantage of the company and other customers,” Ashbridge said.
Auto Insurance Fraud varies, but three types are committed most frequently.
1. Staged Accidents. A conspirator’s car pulls in front of the targeted driver and stops suddenly, causing the targeted driver to rear-end the conspirator’s car and think they are responsible for the accident.
2. Owner Give-up. Car owners will arrange to have their cars "stolen" and disposed of so they can collect the insurance money.
3. Claim Padding. Car owners increase the amount of an otherwise legitimate claim to receive more money than they are due.
Avoid Being a Victim of a Staged Accident
Millions fall victim to staged accidents every year. These apparently simple fender benders are actually premeditated crimes, involving organized rings of conspirators. Here are three warning signs that you may have been the victim of a staged accident:
1. The car in front of you slammed on its brakes for no apparent reason.
2. The car you have hit is a large, older model car.
3. There are at least three people in the other car, and they are anxious to leave the scene of the accident before the police arrive.
Law-abiding drivers can take preventative measures to avoid becoming the victim of a staged accident.
• Don’t tailgate! Criminal drivers view tailgaters as prime targets.
• Be a defensive driver. If another driver suddenly darts in front of you, slow down and increase the distance between you and that driver.
• If you are in an accident, take notes on the situation using an auto accident checklist.
• Get the names and addresses of independent witnesses at the accident scene.
• If a collision seems to be a set-up, immediately advise your insurance company and law enforcement officials.
Help Fight Insurance Fraud
Foremost Insurance wants to help reduce insurance fraud, the second most common white-collar crime after tax evasion. The war against fraud won’t be won without your help. Here’s what you can do:
• Don’t put yourself in a position to be a victim. Drive defensively, and thoroughly document all auto accidents in which you are involved.
• If you know of insurance fraud, report it to the police.
• Let your family, friends and neighbors know that insurance fraud affects everybody in the form of higher insurance rates. Encourage them to get involved in the fight against fraud.
For more information about auto safety and the Foremost DistinctChoice® Auto insurance program, visit our Web site at www.Foremost.com, our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/foremostinsurance or our Twitter page at www.twitter.com/foremost.
Foremost Insurance Group is a single source for personal property and casualty and commercial insurance. A member of the Farmers Insurance Group of Companies® Foremost has been a leader in the insurance industry since 1952. Foremost is headquartered in Caledonia, Michigan. To learn more, visit Foremost.com.
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Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/Foremost_Insurance/Auto_Insurance_Fraud/prweb3607794.htm.